July 11th, 2018
(Engineering science and mechanics graduate Jordan Klein, left, and mechanical engineering graduate David Hall founded bike helmet company Park & Diamond in 2015)
A little seed money and a lot of advice goes a long way for a budding entrepreneur.
Take it from the two Hokie engineering student founders of Park & Diamond, a young startup that makes collapsible, sleek bike helmets. After winning seven pitch competitions last year, many held by the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs, the company took off in a major way, earning top media coverage in outlets like The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Recently, they closed a round of funding with lead investor and luxury automobile company BMW, which allowed them to make their first two company hires in their new New York City branch. They’ve kicked off production and are launching their stylish — and potentially lifesaving — products in the months to come.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of Americans ride bicycles, but less than half wear bicycle helmets. In the event of an accident, not wearing a helmet can lead to traumatic brain injury.
Park & Diamond co-founders and College of Engineering students David Hall and Jordan Klein saw firsthand the potential devastation when Hall’s sister Rachel was hit by a car while riding her bike, leaving her in a coma for four months.
That was nearly three years ago, Hall said.